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Saraki reveals why he did not contest against Buhari in 2015




Senate President Bukola Saraki has revealed why he chose not contest against President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2015 presidential election.

Saraki who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in January 2014 said he supported  the candidature of President Muhammadu Buhari because he did not want to be part of his party’s problem.

There was speculation that he would vie for a ticket in the APC presidential primary election, but he later cleared the air that he would not run against Buhari.

In response to a publication by African Confidential in which the senate president was said to be  one of ‘those who stood against Muhammadu Buhari for the All Progressives Congress nomination in 2014’, and also that he had ‘retained London Communications consultants Aequitas, which helped Labour Party to remake its image under Tony Blair in the mid-1990s’, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki’s spokesman, said his principal had publicly announced that he would not run against Buhari in October 2014.

“First, please note that your claims above are not correct. Dr Saraki did not contest the last presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress. Dr Saraki publicly announced in a statement in Ilorin on October 12, 2014, that he would not contest against Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) who was then an aspirant because ‘some of us need to make sacrifice and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem of the party’. He then declared that he would support the candidacy of the retired General. Dr Saraki was one of the people who worked tirelessly to ensure General Buhari won the APC ticket, and the general election,” he said in a letter.

“Again, contrary to the claim in your article, Dr Saraki does not retain the services of Aequitas. He formerly engaged Aequitas for strategic policy services while he was governor of Kwara state,  and chair of the Nigeria governors forum, and at the initial stage of his period as senate president. He no longer retains the services of Aequitas effective from January 1, 2017.”

Olaniyonu added that Saraki had “equally pledged his full support for and commitment to the success of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari”.